Good afternoon everyone – welcome to issue # 10 of the eMemo. Only 2 submissions for this issue which perhaps speak to how busy the interns are as they move along into their final weeks in the schools. Enjoy.
Feedback From This Year’s Interns
Every dime and dollar
When I actually lift my head from the work that I have fully immersed myself in and realize that I am nine weeks into this internship, I find myself reeling. Where on earth did the time go? I feel like I only just arrived at the school but at the same time I feel like a true regular. This was my first time teaching high school-aged students and I had no idea what I was in for. I was initially nervous. We’ve all heard the teenage horror stories and we’ve all lived them.
I expected this to be an uphill battle, but I never could have anticipated how genuinely this experience would enrich my life – that these students and their rich tapestry of identities weaved together in one room would be something I would grow to look forward to on a daily basis. All I can say is, I have had a rare opportunity to get to know some of the quality individuals that are coming up behind my generation. I don’t know if the bunch I teach are an anomaly or not, but I can at least take comfort in knowing there are some truly worthwhile people getting ready to join us in adulthood.
Teaching has proven to be a thrill. The preparation, the challenge of maintaining organization and deadlines, the energy and performance that goes into each class. I love the excitement before a lesson or an activity I’ve planned, anticipating how the students will react to it. I adore the waves, smiles and greetings in the halls as we bustle from one event to the next. Above all else, I revere that sense of warm satisfaction I get when a student seeks out help because they’re stressed about a topic and they leave feeling confident. To sit with a student and help them towards that “aha!” moment and the gratitude they show when you spend that time to help them is the greatest feeling. It is a whole other level of payment for my job that carries its own weight in value and it tells me that I have made the right choice in pursuing this career avenue.
The only downfall for me now is thinking about having to say goodbye in so short a time and returning to usual student life. I fill up just thinking about it! But I have already made some memories within those corridors that I won’t soon forget. I can’t wait to have an opportunity to make some more. I may not have gotten paid for this internship – hell, I paid for it out of my own pocket! But for me, getting to know and help these kids has been worth every dime and dollar. (Secondary Intern)
One of the most educating and perhaps greatest experiences of my life
I am doing my internship at a kindergarten to grade 12 school on the southwest coast of Newfoundland; it is actually the school I graduated from. I have been placed in the grade 4/5 classroom and luckily enough I knew my co-operating teacher before I started my internship because she was my French teacher.
Even though I knew the school and my co-operating teacher, I was really nervous to begin my internship because I always had my heart set on teaching primary, more specifically, kindergarten and now I was going to be teaching elementary students. I was so nervous because I didn’t know if the students would like me or respect me. Also, I was thinking maybe they wouldn’t want another teacher in the classroom with them; I had so many thoughts running through my mind. However, my first day could not have gone any better and 9 weeks later, I am still having the absolute best time.
I have learned far more than I ever thought possible from my co-operating teacher. She has made the classroom have such a welcoming atmosphere and she allows me to use my ideas when her ideas do not work as she had hoped. She treats me as an equal and not someone who is below her. I could not ask for a better co-operating teacher. Not only have I learned from my teacher, I have also learned so much from my students.
The group of students I am with are wonderful. From the beginning I have given them respect and have been open to their ideas and I can tell that they respect me because for the most part they do listen to what I say to them. I have developed relationships with all of my students. I try to teach my students in different ways and to do different activities with them so I can figure out what styles of learning they like best. This gives me ideas for what I can use in my future classroom. Overall, this has been one of the most educating and perhaps the greatest experiences of my life. (Elementary Intern)
Recommended Book Resource for Primary and Elementary Interns
Light in the Darkness (2013)
Author: Lesa Cline-Ransome
Illustrator: James E. Ransome
This is more than a tale of slavery, it is a tale of hope in the desperate world of slavery. It tells of how a group of slaves learned to read in secret. For all of us for whom it was expected we learn to read as children, for the taken for granted, it is a depiction we cannot imagine. How many of us have heard of “pit schools”, large holes dug deep in the ground and disguised with sticks and branches? This story tells of one group of slaves who faced beatings and death to learn what we consider our right.
Rosa was awakened in the middle of the night by her mother. She quietly follows her Mama, making sure the patrolers don’t catch them. She knows not where she is going, but she follows her Mama faithfully. They stop when they reach a group of bushes that cover a big hole. Mama makes the call of a bird, and when Rosa looks down she sees faces, young and old, gathered around a lantern. Morris, the teacher from another plantation, was taught to read by his master’s mistress long ago, and wants to teach other slaves to read before he dies. “Master says slaves are too dumb to learn. You wouldn’t know it, ‘cause in this school, they are taking in learning like it’s their last breath”.
It was too dangerous to go every night, but eventually Rosa learned all her letters, along with her Mama. Then one night they heard the patrollers stopping above them, and they all held their breath. But the horses moved on and they were safe. However, the patrollers caught two slaves returning to their plantations in the morning and “whipped ‘em so bad, one of ‘em near bleed to death”.
The slaves were scared and no one returned to school, “folks just too scared or just too tired of trying”. Days passed with no school. Finally, one night Rosa woke her mama, but her mama was too scared to go. Rosa would not give up shaking her mama until she got up. When they got to the school, Morris was there all alone. As he started to teach Rosa how to spell her name, they heard footsteps above them. They thought they were caught and would be lashed. But then they heard the call of a bird and when Morris pulled the branches apart to see who found them, they saw many faces, some old and some new, looking down at them. Rosa picked up a stick to mark in the dirt and said to a new girl, “I’ll show you how I write my name”.
Reading how the slaves valued learning to read and what they were willing to undergo to learn will fill readers with respect, awe, and pain. These slaves risked their lives to learn and this book celebrates their pursuit of freedom. As Frederick Douglas said, “once you learn to read, you will be forever free”.
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)
“Under a lot of stress lately, Miss Duffy?”
Quote of the Week
“I wish I could bring back my teacher to the library and check out a new one.” @livefromsnacktime on Instagram
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)
“I want to be street smart so I can be a road scholar!”
Education Law Corner
In last week’s issue we briefly discussed the concept of contributory negligence.
In Canada courts consider the principle of contributory negligence when settling negligence or liability suits. Contributory negligence involves dividing the responsibilities of the negligent act between the accused and the victim. In certain cases the teacher is not the sole individual responsible for injuries or damages incurred as a result of negligence.
Depending on the age of the student and the circumstances surrounding the specific incident, the student can be found to have contributed directly to the injury or damage. Students do have a duty or obligation to act with reasonable care for their own safety. This would obviously involve students of an older age, specifically at the junior or senior high levels.
An example of a court decision involving contributory negligence is Kowalchuk v. Middlesex County Board of Education. This case involved a student being injured as a result of jumping on a gym mat left outside the gymnasium door. The school board was found to be 80 percent negligent and the student 20 percent contributorily negligent. In essence, the court had determined that the student was 20 percent responsible for his own injury.
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3)
“I missed all the presidents on the History test. I was politically incorrect!”
Concluding Comments From The Editor
That takes care of issue # 9.
Thank you to the interns who sent in submissions this week.
Another wonderful scrimmage game of hockey at St. Bon’s this Friday night past. 14 players + 2 goalies meant that we had 3 changes on the bench and that some of us didn’t haven’t to resort to using the oxygen tank! For yours truly goals were the usual hard to come by but I did manage to get one: Baccalieu Collegiate high school teacher, Steve Trimm and I got a breakaway – Steve passed the puck to me on right wing, the goalie sprawled to the left and I was successful in lifting the puck up and over – top shelf! We were both very pleased!
NHL-wise, you are probably aware that les Habs are on a 5 game winning streak, so there has been a significant amount of “crowing” going on from you know who!
There was indeed icing on the cake with Thursday night bringing enjoyment of “gargantuan proportions” to us die-hard Habs fans: the Habs won; the Leafs lost; the Bruins lost! Now it doesn’t get any better than that!!!!!!!!!!! Of course, I’ve been making the customary telephone calls, several actually, to Stephenville, to a certain sister-in-law who is a fanatical Leafs fan. Those calls gently “massage” (i.e., rub in) the losses of the Leafs and the wins of the Habs! As someone once said, “you have to make hay when the sun shines”! In the uncertain world of NHL hockey, my “crowing” could disappear real quick with the “shoe being on the other foot”. “Carpe diem” or “seize the moment” I say!
On a more sober hockey note, please go to: https://www.pressreader.com/canada/the-telegram-st-johns/textview for an interesting story titled “Short Cut” by sports writer, Robin Short detailing his almost losing an eye in a recent hockey game. It speaks to the importance of wearing visors or face cages when playing hockey, no matter at what level.
Have a great week everyone – Jerome